San Francisco Gets New Crop of Luxury Condos

By Nancy A. Ruhling | Mansion Global

The city, which is seeing a booming high-end real estate market, gets some shiny new homes for eager buyers

San Francisco’s luxury condo market, which posted a record number of sales in the spring quarter of 2017, could be primed for a repeat performance.

Luxury condos, which comprise 10% of the city’s housing market and start at $2 million, are concentrated in the southeast quadrant—south of Market Street in South Beach (SoMa) to the Mission District. The newest crop is there, too.

“This area had been filled with commercial lots, and it’s the only area where high rises can be built,” said Patrick Carlisle, chief market analyst at Paragon Real Estate and author of The San Francisco Area Real Estate Market Report.

While there aren’t many developments launching sales this quarter, and those that have been announced have opening dates that are still to be determined, hopes are high for the current inventory.

“I’m optimistic for this quarter because the recent stock market volatility notwithstanding, the economic confidence that has been sweeping the nation is also showing up in our luxury home markets,” Mr. Carlisle said. “So far in 2018, luxury home sales have been very strong, higher than in any previous year since the recovery began in 2012.”

Sales have been robust in all areas, Mr. Carlisle said, except the Financial District, where the sinking Millennium Tower has also sunk sales in the district by 50%.

Meanwhile, Santa Clara is the Bay Area’s biggest condo market, with 4,400 units sold in 2017, according to the latest Paragon report. It is followed by San Francisco and Alameda.

“But San Francisco is the most expensive condo market,” Mr. Carlisle said. “It’s the only substantial luxury condo market in the Bay Area.

Condos are the dominant property sale type, and there were hundreds of sales over $2 million in 2017. So far in 2018, the sales of condos, co-ops and tenancy in common investments at prices of $2 million and above has jumped 55% in the city, year over year, and luxury houses by 19%.”

He is, however, more cautiously optimistic about the ultra-luxury housing market. “For houses selling for over $5 million and condos and co-ops priced at $3 million or more, the supply of listings has been surging well beyond demand,” he said. “And many of these listings are expiring without selling.”

With at least a half-dozen developments in the pipeline over the next year or so, Mr. Carlisle said that a new round of IPOs from significant San Francisco-based companies will ensure strong sales for the Bay Area.

“The IPOs will mint hundreds, if not thousands of new millionaires, so there will be a surge of brand-new wealth hitting the real estate market,” he said.

Below, four buildings starting sales in the coming months:

288 Pacific, 288 Pacific Ave., Jackson Square

288 Pacific, 288 Pacific Ave., Jackson Square

The masonry, metal and glass building, which takes its design cues from the historical warehouses in the area, is a modern interpretation of the brick low rises in the neighborhood, one of the city’s oldest.

Sited next to the Transamerica Pyramid, 288 Pacific wraps the north and east sides of the Old Ship Saloon, a designated historical site at Battery Street and Pacific Avenue. It is surrounded by restaurants, boutiques and art galleries.

The interior also pays homage to the neighborhood’s historic architecture. The lobby, appointed with heritage marble and painted paneling, features modern detailing. The furniture, which was inspired by Art Deco and Italian Mid-Century styles, is in sync with that displayed in the windows of surrounding antiques galleries. The residences have 11-foot ceilings, wide-plank floors, fumed-oak cabinetry and Waterworks plumbing fixtures.

Sales will start later this year.

Number of units: 33 Price range: TBA Developer/architect: Grosvenor/Handel Architects Apartment sizes: 402-square-foot studios to 2,464-square-foot two-bedrooms Amenities: Two common terraces, one of which has an outdoor kitchen area with seating area, sink and barbeque. Each unit has a parking space; the penthouses have two each. Website:

99 Rausch, 99 Rausch St., SoMa

99 Rausch, 99 Rausch St., SoMa

This six-story condo, which is expected to receive Silver Certification from Green Point Rated Certification, a Build It Green program, pairs state-of-the-art amenities with environmentally sustainable features. Its vintage-meets-modern design is in sync with its location—a prime spot where technology companies are innovating every day.

Along Rausch Street, the building features garden-stoop entrances, enhanced landscaping and trees. There’s a 5,600-square-foot retail base. Housing above the retail component incorporates large windows and brick material.

The corner of Folsom and Rausch is accentuated by a lighter structure with expansive windows to maximize views and provide connection to the outside. The complex also includes 74 parking spaces (15 ready for electrical vehicle installation) and 104 bike parking spaces.

Sales will start later this year.

Number of units: 112 Price range: Studios: $599,000 to $669,000; one bedrooms: $799,000 to $869,000; two bedrooms: $1.325 million to $1.624 million Developer/architect: Belrich Partners Rausch LLC and Pillar Capital Consulting Group/BAR Architects Apartment sizes: 403- to 419-square-foot studios, 603- to 656-square-foot one-bedrooms, 852- to 1,066-square-foot two-bedrooms Amenities: Daily front desk attendant 7 a.m. to 9:30 p.m., resident lounge, conference room, gym, outdoor yoga platform, landscaped rear garden area, rooftop terrace, barbecue area with fire pit and outdoor media area. Website:

The Austin, 1545 Pine St., Lower Pacific Heights/Nob Hill

The Austin, 1545 Pine St., Lower Pacific Heights/Nob Hill

Built on the site of a one-time auto-body shop at Pine and Polk streets, The Austin is designed to fit into this trendy industrial neighborhood, which features a century-old oyster bar and a new-school barbershop that draws hipsters and old-timers alike. Its white-clad and glass façade lets in the sunlight and the city views. The units have an open-plan design with kitchens made for entertaining and bathrooms that feature floating vanities. The lobby/lounge is designed as a space to work and relax—it has comfortable seating, piped-in music and a front desk that has a concierge, takes lunch deliveries and keeps beverages on tap.

Sales begin later in 2018.

Number of units: 100 Price range: TBA Developer/architect: Pacific Eagle Holdings/BDE and Interiors by Edmonds & Lee Apartment sizes: Studios and two-bedrooms Amenities: Roof deck with fire pit, pet spa, units with wide-oak wood flooring, lobby and lounge with double-sided fireplace and bike storage Website:

1188 Valencia, 1188 Valencia St., Mission District

1188 Valencia, 1188 Valencia St., Mission District

The project, which bills itself as “Modern for The Mission,” features five above-ground retail spaces that total about 5,000 square feet. The collection of condos, which offers views of the Twin Peaks hills and the downtown skyline, is defined by modern looks, pure lines, luxe materials, detailed finishes and culinary-inspired appliances. It is unknown when sales will be launched.

Number of units: 49 Price Range: TBA Developer/architect: JS Sullivan Development/RG Architecture Apartment sizes: One- and two-bedroom apartments Amenities: A below-ground parking garage for 32 cars and 52 bicycles, custom woodwork and European-inspired kitchens with designer appliances. Website: